I recently took a weekend-long trip to West Virginia with some fellow photographers. It was an intense weekend, trying to get in as much photography as possible, allowing for only necessary interruptions such as eating and sleeping.
On the final morning, while most folks decided to take advantage of their warm, comfortable beds and have a well deserved “lie-in” I was up well before sunrise to see what opportunities the day could present. I drove to an overlook in Blackwater Falls State Park that I had scouted out earlier in the trip. Although my original plan was to set up quickly to catch the changing light as night transitioned into day, once I arrived I got the urge to simply sit for a while and watch the scene developing in front of my eyes. It was as if the moment was meant to be experienced only by those who cared to be there and the only images allowed were those left in your soul. Perched on top of the overlook I listened to the sounds of the forest far below and watched the growing light uncover the distant mountain peaks. It was only after I experienced this magical moment that I started to photograph.
Sometimes you just need to appreciate the subject and spend a moment or two enjoying its presence before launching into the act of taking photographs.